Sir, Your interesting letter in The Times of today marks a new departure in the fascinating pursuit of cycling. For the first time you demonstrate that a wide distinction should be drawn betwixt the tricycle and the bicycle. Hitherto there has existed a curious confusion in the minds of most people on the subject. Only the other day, when I appeared on my Humber tricycle at the Wimbledon Rifle meeting, I was ordered to dismount at the entrance door and so had to push my tricycle ignominiously to Lady Brownlow’s tent, for nearly half a mile over a dusty roadway between multitudinous cabs, carriages and four-in-hands. Now, in reality, logically speaking, it would have been much more reasonable to have made the drivers of these carriages get down and lead their horse, for, beyond doubt, a well-made tricycle is much more under control than a horse and carriage. So much, however, cannot be said for a bicycle; unless when in actual motion it lacks stability and thus becomes a source of danger where the space is limited, as in the case of a crowded thoroughfare. Yet, notwithstanding this great and very obvious difference, the powers that be place both machines in the same category and under the same restrictions. One glaring instance of this will suffice: – Because Richmond Park has been closed to bicyclists, therefore Mr Shaw Lefevre declines to allow tricyclists to pass through it. Some horses, I admit, do not at first like the look of a tricycle, but horses can be accustomed to anything in the way of sight-seeing; witness the manner they work at railway stations; therefore, without going so far as to advocate the admission of tricycles to a place like Hyde Park, I do think the time has arrived for removing the disabilities they at present labour under, so as to give them the same privileges as those accorded to carriages drawn by horses.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Ashley-house, Walton-on –Thames, Sept 8&
The Times, Sep 11, 1883, pg 10